U.S. Open Kicks Off
August 3, 2008
Westinlead.jpgThe U.S. Open festivities kicked off August 2, Saturday night in Dallas, Texas with the first round of the U.S. Open and the Denker tournament of High School Champions. The Open section features a 40,000$ prize fund and a one-game-a-day traditional schedule. Five and six-day schedules will merge with the traditional after five rounds. Among the participants in the traditional schedule are former U.S. Senior Open Champ Joe Bradford and U.S. Class Champion Daniel Fernandez:

One of the few upsets in the lopsided first rounds was half an upset in the Denker. Dan Brashaw (1952) of Iowa nicked High School Champion Daniel Yeager (2349) for a draw. Yeager was featured in the August Chess Life Magazine , now available to USCF members.

Check out more games, including live games on Monroi.com.

If you are in Dallas, be sure to subscribe to the daily bulletins. The bulletins will feature daily dispatches from Jerry Hanken, who will also write an article on the U.S. Open for Chess Life Magazine. Here is Hanken's first entry:

Hanken's Corner 

It is Friday afternoon, the day before the first round. After getting 2 hours sleep and rising at the unholy hour of four AM, I have arrived at the four diamond Westin Park hotel. The temperature outside is 103, but I am cool in my air-conditioned room. I have received great service and it is actually a pleasure to arrive at a tournament when the sun is still shining. I feel an adrenalin rush as I prepare to compete in my 42nd US Open and 36th in a row. Up until 2006, I had never made less than a plus score. But in the last two, I have been minus. I intend to reverse that bad streak this year in Dallas. You Gentle Readers can follow that quest in this corner of the US Open Bulletins. Your Humble Reporter (YHR) will concentrate on odd and/or funny happenings in the next 8 days as I take you through this odyssey. Once again, as at the National Open, Tom Brownscombe the chess master (who is an even better poker player) will be my editor (after this known as Ye Kindly Editor or YKE).

Now it is time to go down for a real dinner and to meet and greet the many wonderful people whom I see at every US Open. It’s nice to be on such a sane schedule for once. Alas, that won’t last for long. Although I always play the traditional schedule of one evening round per day, by Tuesday the fast options will start. With the Delegates trickling in , there will be workshops and long discussions with small and large groups well into the night hours. So I am enjoying these first days where chess alone can be the focus.

I was able to win my first round game against a young class B player (everybody looks young to me these days). He defended well after losing time in the opening. I take nothing for granted now. If my opponent is lower rated, I do not assume that he or she will be easy. Anyone who is playing in the US Open knows something about chess. I was able to convert my advantage into a winning rook and pawn ending, but it required a great deal of care and thought.

I am going to take a  crack at a US Open quiz again this year. Here are the rules: The first person to personally give me the right answer to this question gets $5 off a set of bulletins. Here goes, and it’s a multiple. Name all three US Opens which had 13 rounds (and you must know the place and year). Members of my US Open committee are not eligible. Sorry Hal, Jim, and Walter. You guys know too much. If you three get it right, you get a Hanken ataboy!

Look for YKE to provide you with up to date results and many game scores. He will note any upsets among us traditionalists. (There is an Open quick schedule, but I have not figured out what that is exactly.) Look for more substance in the Corner tomorrow.  Good chess to all.   Jerry